Bidding for 700MHz off to a hot start

Auction 73, the long-awaited 700MHz spectrum sell-off, got underway yesterday as the Federal Communications Commission conducted two rounds of bidding by the 214 qualified bidders. Action was brisk, although none of the reserve prices on any of the five blocks of spectrum available were met. After the second round concluded, the bids totaled $2.779 billion, up $353.4 million from the morning’s action.

Up for bid are five separate blocks of spectrum. The majority of those consist of regional licenses, but Blocks C and D have been the recipients of a lot of attention because they could be used to construct a nationwide wireless broadband network. Block C has a reserve price of $4.638 billion and the winner will have to abide by the FCC’s open access conditions. Block D has a significantly lower reserve of $1.33 billion, but the winner will also be required to share the spectrum with a national public safety communications network. (link)

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